tv MSNBC News Live MSNBC May 12, 2010 10:00am-11:00am EDT
some of our most renowned ones are not. helpful but not necessary. to the country, she has been an outstanding teacher, a wonderful academic, a very successful dean at the harvard law school, which might sound like an easy job but it's a tough job. she's a great community builder. she's going to bring a lot of skills there. >> leads me to my next question. back in 2009, you signed a bipartisan letter signed by others who also served as solicitor general extolling her virtues. in that letter you talk about a breadth of experience, brilliant intellect, respected by the justices. you still feel that way? >> i do. she's had a really fine run. she's in electially honest. one of the great things about elena, justice kagan, when she
argues cases, the justices know she is coming to them very forthrightly. she is so bright. everyone knows that she's the smartest kid on the block kind of person. i think this experience in presenting argument, listening to the court, watching the court up close, being peppered with questions by eight members of the court that she'll be joining is going to be very helpful background to her. she brings all those gifts to bear. >> what do you make of we're hearing conservative politicians, including senator inhofe coming out and saying he's not supporting this right now and conservatives in the media calling her another left activist, or,ñr%iquote, a pure academic elitist radical. is that the same person you know? do those characterizations surprise you? >> that's politics. unfortunately confirmation politics have been very ugly with a few happy enter luds every since the nomination of
judge robert bourque. that was a tragedy the way he was treated as he was. there have been happy moments, justice ginsburg, suter, more respectful. that isn't to say there shouldn't be a probing inquiry. obviously the solicitor general brings a written record to bear, and it's very important for the justices to probe into that, including her position with respect to military recruiters on law school campuses. these are legitimate areas of inquiry. >> that was a bit of a controversy during her time as dean at harvard. let me ask you this, sir. no one is expecting republicans to filibuster the nomination. but as we've heard, they are vowing to vigorously challenge her. as you've said, that's politics. is that the right strategy? >> well, it may be good politics, but i don't think it's good for the court. we have been through a generation of very divisive politics, which i think is not
serving the court well. therefore, i don't think it serves the country well. but far be it from me to question the tactics of folks who are elected by their constituents to carry a particular voice. i just wish for the sake of the country that there were less rancor and acr acrimony. >> as you're speaking we're waiting to see elena kagan at her first meeting of the day. there's a live picture. let me ask you as we wait for the two of them to come out. do you expect anything sub assistant ifr to come out of these meetings today? it's one after another. how likely is it she's going to reveal her stance on hot button issues. >> very unlikely. you put it well. it's a meet and greet. it's an opportunity for the senators, and i think this is
healthy. hey, solicitor general categorion, this is what is really of concern to me. some of the senators may, in fact, try to draw her out with respect to specific issues. but she is so smart and so able. she knows, and i think she's backed away from some of her own writings to the affect that she thinks the senators should be very probing, have a robust inquiry and i understand that. but the justice designate has to be circumsuspect in what she says. i think ruth vader ginsburg was. they have to be careful because of the value of the independence of the court. >> ken starr, i know you're wrapping up your time at pepperdine law school and heading to baylor. good luck to you. thanks for being with us. >> thank you. a libyan plane carrying 104 passengers crashed on landing in tripoli. an 8-year-old dutch boy survived that crash while the rest on
board are believed to have been killed. airbus a330 was coming in for a landing when the airplane crashed at tripoli airport. joining us on the phone from cairo egypt, charlene, do we know what caused this crash yet? >> reporter: no, monica, the cause of the crash has not been determined yet. it's relatively new, was delivered in 2009. recently undergone 10 safety inspections, afriqiyah has under gone safety inspections. weather was good according to air traffic management and ash cloud was unlikely to play a role. libyan authorities immediately ruled out an act of terrorism. early news reports said the eastern runway is not as well equipped as it might be for landings. it does not have a precision approach system to guide airplanes to the runway. using less sophisticated. in the past years, two other
crashes on approach to landing. it's premature to determine what caused the crash until they examine the black box. >> charlene, thanks for the update on that. we want to take you back live to washington where the supreme court nominee elena kagan, there you see her. the first on a full docket. she'll be meeting with several of the senators. she'll need their support for her nomination. let's listen and see if they are going to say anything. no, looks like they just posed for few pictures. and we'll follow that, if they do decide to make any comments we'll bring them to you. meantime want to go overseas now. another brutal attack to tell you about, this one on school children in china. it's the fifth major attack of this kind since march. this time the attacker used a cleaver as he killed seven children as well as a teacher and her son. this happened at a kindergarten in northwest china. the 48-year-old assailant returning home after the attack.
he then committed suicide. the motive for the attack wasn't known. the speculation is that the attacker may have suffered from mental illness. late yesterday jury ruled in the case of a young kindergarten teacher accused of molesting three of her students. >> number 21. >> not guilty. >> count number 22. >> not guilty. >> tonya craft was found not guilty of 22 counts of molesting three young girls. this morning, information withheld during the trial is now being made public. one of the accusers is craft's own daughter. she was forced to take the strapped and testify against her mother. craft spoke out this morning on "today." >> it absolutely broke my heart to see that my daughter had been pretty much endoctrinated to believe things that weren't true and to just sit there, i mean, was obviously emotional. >> nbc's michelle kosinski is
covering reaction to the verdict in ringel, georgia. what a stunning moment there. can't even imagine what that must have been like for her, michelle. >> reporter: yeah, it's been a long time since we've seen something so intense like this. 22 times the jury yelled out not guilty, one for each count of sexual battery and molestation she was accused of. almost immediately cheers erupted. the emotion and tension that packed this courtroom every single day finally ended in this raw outpouring. many people crying. tonya craft broke down. this was a case that split this community between those who believed that tonya craft molested three little girls and those who said she was the victim, that this was a witch hunt. she was facing life in prison possibly. during the time, the two years this has gone on, she lost her job, had her two children kept away from her. this morning for the first time in two years, she woke up
without these dark accusations hanging over her. she said today on the "today" show, there are no winners here. >> it wasn't a victory. there's nobody that wins in this situati situation. my whole heart has been taken and i got half of it back. until i get my children, i won't have my entire heart, per se, back. >> reporter: she still has some more time to deal with the court system in this. obviously a big relief. she expressed a desire to help other people that might find themselves in the same position she was in. >> what a story, michelle. i can't get over it. the fact her own daughter was involved there. just unbelievable. michelle kosinski, thanks so much for that. vice president joe biden's son is expected to make a full recovery after he suffered a mild stroke. 41-year-old beau biden spent the night at thomas jefferson hospital in philadelphia. right now he's in stable
condition. the doctors say the delaware attorney general is in good spirits and talking with his family. a 25-year-old professional golfer found dead in her apartment. the cause of death unknown. was it suicide, murder, or natural causes? we'll have the details next. plus tragedy in quebec as a sinkhole swallows a family in their home. how did it happen? wow, is this... fiber one honey clusters? yes. but it can't have... can't have about half a day's worth of fiber? i assure you it does. i can only taste... only taste the crunchy clusters, honey, and brown sugar. no madam, i don't have esp. (announcer) fiber one.
clinton. here is what she had to say. >> president obama and president karzai both understand the ability to disagree on issues of importance to our respective countries and peoples is not an obstacle to achieving our shared objectives. rather, it reflects a level of trust that is essential to any meaningful dialogue and enduring strategic partnership. >> president obama and president karzai will hold a joint news conference. that's set to happen at 11:15. we'll bring it to you live here on msnbc news. there are few leads in the disappearance of a controversial cross stolen from its rocky embankment in the california desert. sometime overnight sunday they sawed through the welded bolts that secured the cross to its platform. two weeks ago the u.s. supreme court ruled this cross, a religious war memorial did not violate or cross the line between church and state and could stay on its spot in the
mojave national reserve. obviously somebody else had a different idea. bodies of four families that disappeared after a sinkhole swallowed their home. authorities say the husband, wife and their daughters, aged nine and 11, were watching tv in their basement when a massive landslide hit. it is a tragic freak accident. nbc's meteorologist bill karins joins us to explain what happened with this. so awful, the parents had no idea this was coming. what caused this. >> they are very random. this one that happened in quebec, an underwater chasm they didn't know about. that happened to go dry. the weight supports the earth, that gave out when the water -- the largest sinkhole in the country is devil's sinkhole in texas. that's a state park, hundreds of thousands of bats fly out of it every day. a tourist attraction.
seven states with sinkholes in the u.s. florida, texas, alabama, missouri, kentucky, tennessee and pennsylvania. that's where we've had damage in the past from sinkholes. this is a huge one you're looking at the video of now in china where they have 28, the village opened up. they had to evacuate many people. they are kmochbcommon. it's caused by water under the earth. one of the more fame ourous one. one in florida. a famous one in 2007 that happened in the middle of the city in guatemala city, literally just a huge hole in the middle of the city opened up and swallowed houses. they are rare, doesn't happen often. not something to be fearful of. you live in florida like i do, you see it happen on the news every now and then. >> thank you for that. in nevada, a mystery deepens. what killed a young professional golfer who seemed to have everything ahead of her. 25-year-old erika blassberg.
she had her bags packed and scheduled to play in a golf tournament in alabama. instead of heading to the airport, police found her lifeless body in her nevada home. reports say they initially thought it was an apparent suicide. to blasberg's loved ones it didn't make sense. now police are looking further into the case. clint van zandt joins us from washington. this is a young woman, 25 years old. according to the reports, she had her bags packed, a brand-new golf bag, and was ready to go and play golf. this doesn't sound like a woman who would be taking her own life. >> initially it doesn't. she appears to be future oriented, sinking down the line, had her bags packed, a ticket, dinner plans made monday night for dinner with friends. the normal things we see with somebody talking about suicide or writing notes or giving away their possessions. these things aren't apparent. but this is a woman,
nonetheless, who was under a lot of pressure. like most professional athletes, she wanted to perform very well. she may not have been meeting up to her own expectations. her bigges money year was about two years ago when she made about $113,000. her highest finish on the tour was 94th. so she has her own personal challenges and some injuries we're told going at the same time. >> given the tremendous pressure that professional athletes are under, given the fact that, okay, she wasn't, perhaps, at the top of the game. but still it just seems odd that such a young woman with so much ahead of her, her father said she knew it was a tough year but she was motivated. seems odd she would let it get to her in such a manner without the people around her baseball aware of that. >> homicide, suicide, accident or natural causes, we have to look at the four causes of
death. by and large that covers any type of death unless it's unknown. you would think when the authorities came in, if they saw evidence the house had been broken into. if they saw evidence the victim had been assaulted. if she had struggled, fought with someone. if they saw obvious signs in her eyes, bloodshot, to indicate we had been suffocated, even a pillow put over the top of us, i think the authorities haven't offered a theory and waiting for toxicology results to come back. that could mean they are looking for some type of substance in her body. perhaps drugs. >> we do know someone called 911. we don't apparently not yet. clint van zandt, thank you for joining us. >> thanks, monica. drew peterson apparently needs money to pay for his murder trial. he's putting his harley davidson motorcycle on sell on ebay. the asking price, $50,000.
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okay. some are calling this the latest fashion craze from japan. it's off the charts. whether it's a craze or not, i don't know. there she is. you see the model. you can't figure out possibly what that is, can you? that is a bra that grows rice. there are two plastic pot halves in the front folded together to form a whole pot. a water hose acts as her belt and a pair of farming gloves attached to the bottom. the kit includes a pack of soil and seed ling so they can grow the rice. the model says it's actually more comfortable thank it looks. in oklahoma, a news
helicopter capturing video of a storm that caused a van to flip over. the driver managed to get out unscathed and waited out the rest of the storm in a nearby storm drain. >> justin bieber. >> bieber fever rocks oprah. he had these girls in a state of hysteria during his appearance. he was part of oprah's world most talented kids episode. the 16-year-old performed his hit single "baby." bieber got his start after his mom helped him post numerous videos of his singing on youtube. he was discovered. good for him. developing on msnbc news, for the first time in 70 years, britain has a coalition government. new prime minister conservative david cameron takes the reins after he cut a deal with liberal democrat nick clegg.
clegg will be his deputy. at the first joint news conference a half hour ago both men pledged to work together. >> we're not just announcing a new government and new ministers, we're announce agnew politics. a new politics where the national interest is more important than the party interest. >> until today we were rivals. now we're colleagues. >> as you'd expect, it's big news in britain. check out some of the headlines, dave's new world from the "sun." baby we made it, referring to his wife. she's pregnant. and good-bye, gordon brown who stepped down yesterday. dawna friesen live in london. exciting political times there, dawna. >> reporter: indeed, dave and nick the double act in charge in britain. who would have thought what a difference five days make. just five days ago these two men were campaigning against each other, political rivals. parties have serious ideological
differences. now they are new best friends. that news conference a short time ago in downing street looked like a love-in. cameron saying this marks a historic and seismic ship in the landsca landscape. he called it a remarkable day. nick clegg saying this is a government that will last. it sounded like the two of them were trying to convince britain they can work together and hold it together because that, of course, is what cynics are saying. how can these two men that come from such idea logically different parties really form a government that's going to last, going to make it past tough pieces of legislation. that is the big question. also interesting, these two guys didn't really know each other before this, really didn't have many conversations at all. david cameron was asked not long ago what his favorite joke was. he said, nick clegg. now they are married politically speaking. everybody is kind of wondering how long the honeymoon will last
when the bickering will begin. monica. >> trying to convince the brits and each other as well. dawna friesen. thank you so much. the ash from the volcano in iceland has reached north africa. ten airports closed in morocco until at least tomorrow morning. the ash shut down airports in spain and briefly airports in turkey as well. meteorologists predicting the ash of continue to cause mayhem over the skies in europe until the volcano in southern iceland stops erupting. anti-incumbent fever, a longtime lawmaker given the boot. could senator specter be next? plus stuntman robbie knievel hoping to do something his father wasn'table to, jumped idaho's famed snake river canyon. will officials let him do it? we'll ask him coming up. [ male announcer ] crunch, wheat thins.
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national conservative movement which cost him his job. last night 14-term democrat allen mull han, the first incumbent to get the boot after a 20-year run. luke russert joins us with more. luke, the question looking ahead, is senator specter the next incumbent to fall? >> reporter: that certainly seems like the popular opinion on capitol hill. as it blanche lincoln. if one of those two goes down it will send shock waves through capitol hill. allen, 14-term democratic member of congress. his father a seven-term member. the seat since 1968 in west virginia. for him to go down is a really big deal. i cannot stress that enough. i spoke to one that said we never saw that coming in a million years. that is sending shock waves
through the community. abc "washington post" poll, monica, says one-third of the country is going to support the incumbent. that's the lowest numbers since the republicans took over. anti-incumbent sentiment is rampant through the united states. who does that help? one republican strategist says that is really good for us in the gop especially on the house side where democrats have to defend those 40 seats we want to take for the majority. we feel this anti-incumbent sentiment we can go to the top and take back the house. big story an capitol hill. really interesting to see how it plays out. when you bring a up oh, my gosh, it's a tough race, america loves congress but hate their congressman. last night's race in west virginia showed us america does not like their congressman. america wants significant change. going to be very interesting to see what happens in november. folks are in some sort of a panic. i will say that. >> luke, great reporting. luke, you've got to take a second to tease you. are you pulling off a little chuck todd?
>> chuck todd? >> looks like a little -- >> really? no, you know, i've got more hair than chuck, so i'm all set. >> good luck with that back at the bureau. luke russert. thank you. >> take care. the los angeles city council expected to vote later on an economic boycott of arizona. protests nationwide have been critical of arizona's immigration law and critics believe it will lead to racial profiling. l.a. city policy analyst believes the city spends $56 million in arizona. the question over who is to blame for the massive oil slick in the gulf is no more clear this morning. three big oil executives passing the buck essentially at a committee hearing. take a listen. >> bp as a leaseholder and operator of the well hired transocean to drill the well. transocean had the responsibility for the safety of drilling operations. >> as the lease operator and well owner, that falls on bp. >> i need to emphasize
halliburton is to comply with all instructions relating to the performance of all work-related activities. >> but as they shift responsibility, the environmental crisis grows. tar balls have washed up on the shore there. you saw one. threatening wildlife and the entire ecosystem. joining me, the crow for green for all. good to have you here. you heard the executives there, not really taking much responsibility for what's happened here. do you think that's going to make a difference in the cleanup? how do you react to that when you hear them. >> we all have the responsibility, the three things at green for all we're looking at, first, bp has to pay for its cleanup. i think we've seen the shifting of the blame. it was almost like watching a bad three stooges episode watching each person point at another. what we have to do as a country, first, you have to pay back for all the destruction you've caused. we think it's more than that it's not just paying for the
damage that's been done, but looking at bp used to do operations in the united states. it just shut down its plant in maryland and other places in march of this year while posting the most amount of profit this year, it shut down its operations in the united states. we think it's time for bp to not just clean up its mess but recommit to the american worker, recommit to people living in louisiana and actually replace bad jobs with good jobs. >> let me ask you about the environment impact we were seeing as you were speaking, shots of the mess in the water but starting to see pictures of the wildlife coated in the oil. reminders of "exxon valdez." we've heard reports this could be as bad ultimately. how concerned are you about how bad this will get for the environment. >> it will be worse than "exxon valdez." when we look at the numbers, what was significant about yesterday is that the executives actually said, in fact, the numbers were far worse on the amount of oil. millions of gallons per day are
actually being put back into the ocean. what's important is not just the animals that will be impacted, the long-term impact to the ocean, but those whose lives depend on the environment, the fishermen out of work, tour operators suffering. this is something that is not just important for the environment that will shift the resource of this country but also for the people that inhabit it. >> what is your organization? what do you think in terms of the drilling right now? we've heard some folks coming out in the early days and saying all of the drilling should stop until we know exactly what happened here. >> you know, certainly we think there should be a stop on drilling because the fundamental problem is we don't know how to stop it when it leaks. when you look at what's happened across the country, that's what we can now say, we don't know how to fix this problem. so if bp is the best, we're in trouble. so we would suggest that there be no additional expansion, there be a moratorium until we know how to stop lease. >> thanks for joining us and
bringing your perspective today. >> thank you for having me. well, it's been nearly four decades since daredevil evel knievel attempted to jump over the snake river canyon. now his son robbie came kneel wants to try. i'll talk with the famous stunt man in three minutes. ♪ [ male announcer ] over the past 50 years, toyota has been proud to be a model of quality car making.
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it works on my worst symptoms so i'm ready by the time we get to the first hole. new zyrtec® liquid gels work fast, so i can love the air®. a preview of the problem of obesity may be seen in newborn babies. researchers say as the body mass of pregnant women increased since 1990, so did a measure of body fat composition in newborns. obesity can lead to pregnancy complications and also put babies on a path toward obesity later in life. all right. we like to shake thins up every once in a while. here we go. robbie knievel, son of the late
daredevil evel knievel wants to try a death defying stunt his father tried nearly 40 years ago. back in 1974, evel knievel will attempt to jump the snake river canyon in southern idaho in a rocket-powered vehicle called the sky cycle. the parachute malfunctioned after takeoff. parachutes sbirld into the canyon into the swirling river below. he sustained only minor injuries. i'm joined by robbie knievel robbie, you've been joined by officials from idaho, are they going to let you do this? >> i think so. i've met with them over decades. there's a mayor on each side of the canyon, two different counties. they were at the meeting, chief of police, head sheriffs. the last time i was there was '92.
i went there all the same stuff. they wanted a lot of money, and they wanted, you know, to open my books and everything back then. now they are kind of like we couldn't make this kind of money in 20 years that we could off this one event. this will be shown forever and ever. >> so this isn't about your safety, then? it hasn't been about a safety issue? >> no, they didn't talk about the sky cycle. that's all i'm worried about. >> that's what your dad used. >> i had to spend a million dollars to spend these sky cycles, one test shot and a main shot. hopefully the chute comes out. everybody building rockets these days, all they are worried about are parachutes. they fail all the time. >> we're looking at your dad's shot. how will this be different from what your dad used or the same thing. >> same thing, 5,000 pounds of thrust, 5,000 pounds of total
impulse going 57 degrees straight up. there's only two jumps i haven't done. i'm 48-year-old, since last friday. my dad quit when he was 37. i have two jumps, wimbley jump in the stadium where he packed 90,000 people. i'm going back on the harley and jump 16 where he crashed on 13. i'm going to try to do the canyon next year. >> what do you think your dad would say about this. >> he would say, it was meant to be. go like hell and hang on. >> really? >> now he's in heaven. i don't think he would say hell. i think he changed his name before he got in the pearly gates. >> you're sitting in front of cool suits. a lot reminds me of the stuff your dad wore. is that your stuff or some of your dad's memorabilia, too. >> all mine. mostly blue leather since i was
13 years old back in the corner. i've been doing shoes with them in madison square garden since i was eight. the wimbley jump, canyon jump, madison square garden and finish my career where i started. >> wow. robbie knievel, incredible motivation. we wonder how you do it. we'll be watching if you do. >> thanks. tell me to break a leg. i already broke both of them anyway. >> break one again. >> thank you. baseball hernandez keith hernandez caught sleeping on the job this weekend. theton sh toto toto toto toton jar leno couldn't resist. >> rbi single, ball game over, yankees win. the yankees win! >> you see the enthusiasm? we have not altered this in any way. take a look at the mets
we're following breaking news right now. customs officials telling nbc news a man has been arrested on arrival. this happened at cairo airport. when they discovered weapons in his suitcase. he arrived at 6:30 eastern from new york. the "associated press" is reporting this is an american egyptian man who arrived on that flight. they are reporting there was a metal box 9 millimeter handguns, several swords, daggers and knives. according to the ap, the box examined on arrival from that flight and officials confirmed the man was under investigation by prosecutors.
nbc news confirming this man was arrested at cairo airport with weapons in his suitcase. we'll keep you posted with more details on this story in the newsroom. updating the tore on hamid karzai's visit to the united states. the afghan leader is meeting with president obama at the white house at this mom. karzai's trip to the u.s. is an attempt to work out recent rocky relations between kabul and washington. president obama and president karzai will hold a joint news conference set to start at 11:15. we'll bring it to you right here on msnbc news. later today, first lady michelle obama hosts a summit on the toll military service takes on families left behind. if you had any questions about the impact of long deployments on family members, you may remember this video from three years ago. it pretty much sums it all up.
>> how can you not tear up on that. that 6-year-old boy in suburban seattle got that surprise visit from his sailor dad who had been away in iraq for seven months. the first lady is hoping to learn what can be done to help military families coping with the stress of a parent serving overseas. i'm now joined by mary scott, charmt. this is a daughter who only saw her father six months after 911. i'll start with you. tell me how your personal experience helped you help these young children cope with separations from their parents. >> after 9/11, my father was deployed almost immediately after in 2002. after that he's been deployed -- he's on his fourth deployment and coming home this summer. because of that experience, i was able to connect with these fourth and fifth graders who
their parents had been deployed four or five times. these kids had their parents missing half of their life while i had my father missing half my adolescence. >> i was going to ask, is there any one thing you can point to that you felt yourself and you were hearing from the kids obviously just missing their parents on a day-to-day basis. anything else long-term, the impact you saw on them? >> the most surprising thing to me speaking to these children was just the pride that they felt. despite the impact they may have felt from other children or faculty, despite any lack of support, despite whatever else was going on in their lives, the most important thing they wanted to tell me was how proud they were. look at what my dad brought me. this is what happened when my mother called me. how proud they were. no matter how angry, no matter how sad, it was just that pride that was the most incredible
thing about working with them. >> that is amazing. mary, let me ask you, what has your group learned in work with the military families, working with the children. it's obviously so important to pay attention to those kids and give them the support they need. >> it is very important to do so. for that reason, my association, the national military family association, conducted a research study. actually we commissioned rand corporation for the study to measure effects of deployment. that would be children and spouses at home. we are in the middle of a two-day summit right now. we've brought together experts in many fields. based on the findings of that study to see what we can do to help military families facing the challenges of these repeated deployments.
>> i've got to ask you, you're going to meet the first lady. what are you going to tell her? >> i'm not sure how to answer that i'm honored to be here and the national military foundation has asked me to be here and meet the first lady. it's fantastic. >> sounds like you've had an amazing program and you've helped a lot of kids. we thank you for that. thank you both. good luck today. enjoy. >> thank you. that does it for me. i'm monica novotny. tamron hall picks up next on a very busy news days. president obama meeting with afghan's president hamid karzai at the white house right now. the two leaders will be holding a news conference set for 15 minutes from now and we'll have it live. happening on the hill, supreme court nominee elena kagan making the rounds. she'll be meeting with senate minority leader mitch mcconnell in a few minutes. he says he wants to know that she won't just rubber stamp the president's policies. msnbc news is back in just three minutes. get our hands a little busier. our dollars a little stronger.
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i'm tamron hall. developing stories on "msnbc live." supreme court nominee elena kagan meets with senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. it's one of several meetings today on capitol hill. right now president obama is meeting with afghan president hamid karzai. in less than 15 minutes the two are expected to hold a joint news conference in the east room at the white house. we begin on capitol hill where elena kagan making rounds with key senate leaders and members of the senate judiciary meeting. she's met with senator reid and will meet with minority leader mcconnell. kelly o'donnell on capitol hill. give us insight into her day. >> reporter: eight meeting in total. she begins with the leaders of the senate and transitions to members of the judiciary committee. they are key because they will conduct the hearing. it is their staff that's doing
evaluating and investigating of her background, all of her past work experience, everything she's ever done publicly in terms of speeches she's given, things she's written to a newspaper. anything like that. today it's an important ton for members of the senate to look her in the eye, get a sense of who she is, ask questions. they are perhaps setting the tone for how things will go. as expected senator reid is supportive of the president's choice. he put out a written statement. we expect to hear from him later. he says, after a fair review of her record and individual meetings, i believe elena kagan should receive strong bipartisan support similar to that which she received last year referring to when she was confirmed as solicitor general. i look forward to ensuring her a swift, fair and respectful confirmation process. swift, fair and respectful is important because the president has a goal of having this nominee confirmed in time to be on the court in the fall.
that really means they have got to get it done before the august brachlt timing is important. today it's about setting a tone and getting to know her. >> tone is key because you have senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. he's urged members of the gop to withhold support of this nomination until a full look at kagan's background and her report. >> one of the things he brings up today, the president referred to her as his friend when he made the announcement at the white house. mcconnell is saying members of the senate has to get to know whether she could be fair, impartial, not working for the president but a separate branch. that's one of the things republicans are talking about. they have raised concerns about how staffers are trying to sell kagan to the senate. that happens in one form or another. these are the sorts of things republicans are talking about trying to make distinctions about her background in